Forget human beings, it seems ‘demonetisation’ has taken a toll on elephants too, in India. The appetite of some wild elephants has been hit by demonetisation in Assam as they broke into a shop and ate currency notes of Rs 26,000 on April 24 in Sonitpur district.
According to a local TV channel, the incident took place around 2 am when three-four wild elephants entered the shop in search of food at the Tarajuli Tea Estate in Sonitpur district. They consumed currency notes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 kept in the cash box.
Rajendra Duggal, the owner of the shop, said, there was Rs 40,000 in the cash box, but the elephants didn’t consume the bundles of notes in small denominations, including Rs 50 and Rs 10. The group left the scene after the incident.
According to reports published in the Hindustan Times, Sonitpur West divisional forest officer Davinder Suman said, “the elephants have damaged two houses and the shop. They also ingested some cash kept at the shop. However, no one was hurt or injured.”
This is the first instance when a group of elephant broke the cash box and consumed notes.
However, it is the third instance of wild elephants raiding the shop located inside the tea estate.
Unable to find enough resources to sustain in the natural habitats, elephants venture close to humans, damage crops and in many instances kill, maim humans. Between 2006 and 2016, wild elephants killed 785 people in the state.
Assam has the highest number of wild elephants in India.